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Buildings to be handed over to Wits, and other Higher Education institutions

Over the next few weeks, the Gauteng provincial government will start handing over a number of buildings to the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) to help address the acute shortage of student accommodation.

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As part of the provincial government’s adopted policy to release land and unused and underused State-owned properties to universities and colleges, all universities in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Sedibeng will benefit from the release of land and the leasing of State-owned buildings.

“As the custodian of the provincial government’s R31-billion Immovable Asset Register, the [provincial] Department of infrastructure Development embarked on a process to identify available and underused government property that would be made available to institutions of higher learning,” Gauteng Premier David Makhura said in a statement on Wednesday.

As part of the province’s Rapid Land Release Programme land was previously also handed over to the University of South Africa to build a new state-of-the art learning centre in the Johannesburg central business district.

The provincial government has also identified underused government buildings that will be renovated in partnership with universities and the private sector and leased to universities for student accommodation.

Other prime land parcels that will be released to higher learning institutions include the Old Pathology building, at 14 Kotze street, in Johannesburg; the TMI building, at 157 Joubert street, in Johannesburg; the Transwerke building, portion 84 of the Farm Braamfontein 53 IR, in Sam Hancock street, in Braamfontein; the Karel Schoeman building, at 179 Nana Sita street, in Pretoria; and the De Villiershof building, at 140 and 143 Joubert street and 144 and 145 Steve Biko street, in Pretoria.

SOURCE-Engineering News

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Universities

First accredited Automated Weather Station unveiled at TUT campus

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History was made yesterday when the Tshwane University of Technology launched the first accredited Automated Weather Station in the country.

The SA Weather Services (SAWS) partnered with the university to showcase the world-class station that is expected to provide hazardous weather warnings, alerts and site-specific forecasts to people on campus and to the SAWS.

The readings can be seen on a screen set up on campus.

The university expects the innovation to enable knowledge-sharing and research in climate and technical services, as well as forecasting and training.

Management already expects the station to help in decision-making for sporting events, saying lives could be saved from early warning of imminent lightning storms.

The launch was celebrated by all professionals who worked on the project and students who came to witness history unfold right before their eyes.

Acting SAWS chief executive Mnikeli Ndabambi said: “Severe thunderstorms produce damaging hail, stormy winds, and flash flooding. With a radar network, we can give you the exact time when it will hit this institution so you can at least park your cars under shelter.

“I am told this weather station is already contributing to the SA Weather Services network.”

SOURCE- TUT News

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Universities

NMU academic activities disrupted by protest

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Nelson Mandela University has been working to restore normal academic and other operations following disruptions on Wednesday. A group of students barricaded entrances to the campuses, which was deemed to be in contravention of the standing interdict.

This resulted in a standoff with the SA Police Service, who set off stun grenades after protesting students failed to disperse once the terms of a standing interdict were read out shortly before 1 pm. The students subsequently retreated from the entrances.

The main issue relates to some senior students who did not receive NSFAS funding as a result of not meeting nationally-determined academic performance criteria. These students were subsequently requested to vacate off-campus accommodation.

A total of 1756 students, including 309 whose individual cases were assessed and dealt with by the Clearing House established then, were allowed registration through the various concessions. In light of today’s disruptions, members of the SA Police Service and Protection Service will continue to monitor the situation and secure all campus entrances and facilities.

SOURCE– Nelson Mandela University News

   

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Universities

Higher Education Minister officially Dr. Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor

Higher education minister Naledi Pandor has graduated with a doctorate from the University of Pretoria.

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Image source : Twitter @UPTuks

Minister Naledi Pandor has lived up to her portfolio as a higher education minister by graduating with a doctorate from the University of Pretoria, in the latest of a string of qualifications behind her name.

The official announcement is expected at 3 pm but her wellwishers have already taken to social media to congratulate her over her Ph.D. in Education, which saw her delve into transformation in higher education.

* After donning her graduation robes on Tuesday afternoon, Pandor, who is in her 70s, said in a statement the decision to study again was nerve-wracking.

“But I knew I had to try. I was nervous and slightly embarrassed, as I am an older student, but once I started, I did not want to stop. There were several really bright young students and they seemed so confident and relaxed; I sometimes felt I could not catch up to their confidence levels, but I wanted to do this, so I persevered.”

Professor Chika Sehoole, Dean of the Faculty of Education at UP, said it was an honour to supervise the minister for her PhD. He previously worked with her before the old Department of Education was split. “After I agreed to supervise her, she set the rules for the relationship. She said to me, ‘Now you are my Professor, I am your student. You call me Naledi, and I will call you Professor.’ That was a shocker! I could not believe it, especially given our previous relationship in the Department of Education.”

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